Five indispensable content curation tools for marketers

With several content curation tools available, the task has become much easier and enjoyable.

Content curation tools

If you have to find some specific content on the internet that is completely relevant to the business line you promote, you might not feel amused at all.  The amount of time that you have to devote to the task simply does not justify its worth.  You have to sift through tons of information manually, strain your eyes until it starts watering and has loads of patience to go through every content meticulously to evaluate its merit and suitability. Then you have the onerous task of listing and reviewing. To hunt for content manually on the web seems to be the most thankless job in the world that nobody would like to do. However, to keep pace with the demand for content used for online marketing, there is no way that you can afford to avoid the task of hunting for content on the web more aggressively.

The demand for content is spiralling every day, and it is a very challenging job to maintain a healthy pipeline of quality content by depending on indigenously produced content. You need the right resources to create original content of high quality, and it takes time and quite some investment to create the desired infrastructure. Maintaining a steady flow of indigenously produced content is not always possible. This creates a gap in demand and supply that you can bridge by taking recourse to content curating.

Content curation

Content curation is the process of finding content relevant to your audience from the sources available on the internet and distributing it through your channels of communication in a strategic manner. The job is far from easy as you face the uphill task of cutting through the maze of information overload. The purpose of curating content is to derive its benefits in marketing so that it adds more muscles to your marketing initiatives. The job can be tricky because the content must have the capability of arousing the interest of the audience who must find enough reasons of visiting your website.  

Goals of content curation

  • Add a personal touch – Content curation is not just about gathering links and sprinkling it around.  The content must not only be relevant to the audience, but they must find reasons to be attracted to it. You must add a personal touch to the content thereby using the content as a plank for creating closeness with the audience.
  • Builds value – The content that you curate must make the audience feel as if you have just made it for them and it is what they had been waiting for. The information you share is so precise and timely that they are overjoyed at your benevolence and you make advances in building relationships.
  • Replaces promotional content – The purpose of content curation is to go beyond the traditional approach of promoting products and stay connected with the audience with content that adds value and provides wholesome experience to them without speaking about products and features.  

With several content curation tools available, the task has become much easier and enjoyable. Some of these tools have found a place in this article, which you can consider as a guide on top content curator tools.

Twitter lists

Twitter is a favourite hunting ground for curators but what you get from it depends on how well you manage the accounts you follow. Twitter Lists is a handy tool that allows you to categorize Twitter users you are interested in so that you can follow them separately from the crowd of other users.  To make the results more meaningful, you can create an account with another tool named Pocket where you can deposit the Twitter articles you gather.

Pocket

This tool creates a repository for contents you gather during the process of curation so that you can make use of it later. All articles, images, and videos are nicely organized, and you can tag the articles that make it easy to retrieve by using the search feature provided with the tool. The tool is capable of integrating with as many as 500 other apps.  You come to know about the articles most saved on the platform from the tweets that the tool sends to all users.

BuzzSumo

The BuzzSumo is a great tool that provides a list of the most shareable content while providing information about its sharing level.  To get a list of your desired content, type the domain name or keyword, and you see the list of content around the topic along with the sharing figures. There are sorting options by content type (images, videos, guest posts, etc.), date, author, etc.  Since you have the idea about how much popular the articles are, the task of choosing becomes easy.

Scoop.it

Scoop.it is a content curation tool that is a blend of social media and content curation, and its user interface will remind you of Pinterest.  The tool is like your guide in content curation because when you feed it with your topic of interest, it does much more than providing a list of relevant content for viewing and sharing. It will also come up with suggestions about other complementary topics and even provide a list of other Scoop.It users worth following. You receive daily updates on articles of your interest, so that enables you to stay tuned with times.  You can post one topic on two platforms of social media if you use the free version. The paid version has much wider options across multiple social media channels.

Curata

Curata is the tool that is capable of assisting users to discover audience specific content without having to put in any labour. There is one central platform from where users can perform all the activities.  You can do the fine-tuning including customization and categorization of content sources, review it and then distribute it in the way they want.  The feature of promoting and publishing allows you to re-purpose old content across any media and marketing platforms.

Since different tools have different capabilities, discern the role that content curation plays in your marketing operations before you decide on the type of tool that you need.

About the author:
Derek Iwasiuk is an online marketing expert who heads the SEO firm that he has founded.  At one time, he was one of the top expert shooters of the country and had spent six years as an air cadet.  To know more about his achievements and capabilities log on to
http://www.derekiwasiuk.com/.

5 Script Writing Tips for Engaging and Creative Marketing Videos

Even when visual, marketing is never entirely about engaging imagery and compelling graphic presentations.

Writing a scriptEven when visual, marketing is never entirely about engaging imagery and compelling graphic presentations. However attractive-looking a video is, its message cannot be conveyed effectively without a killer story to tickle the viewer’s mind. Think of Steven Spielberg or Akira Kurosawa for a second – though visually stunning, their movies wouldn’t have been so influential if the scripts weren’t the ones setting the pace.

The differences between moving pictures and marketing videos are manifold, but that still doesn’t mean that your advertising tour de force shouldn’t be as equally artistic and awe-inspiring. In fact, that’s the one lesson you’ll need to take from your fellow screenwriters before moving along to your storyboard.

Here’s how great pieces of marketing videography are written, edited, and inwrought into visuals.

1. Research Before You Write

However grand, every story starts off as a brief or a draft on a blank piece of paper. Long before the first sentence is written, though, a storyteller needs to figure out what it is that he’s trying to bring to life and who are those that have to be affected by it. This is why, like always in marketing, video scripting begins with thorough research. You’ll have two critical elements to deal with – the message you’re trying to carry out and an audience that needs to be engaged with it, so start determining both with the utmost precision and clarity. The first should align with the definite goal of the marketing campaign your video is a part of, while the results of an audience targeting strategy should give you a clear sense of the other.

2. Address Your Viewers as Individuals

Once your audience’s behaviours, needs, preferences, and pain points are understood, you’ll know which approach to take. Personalization is one of the biggest tricks of storytelling for marketing purposes, and you’ll have to address each one of your viewers individually. Start off by introducing yourself and move quickly to a conflict or problem that the product or service promoted by your video should solve. Both aspects should be custom-tailored according to your target demographic, which is why you’ll need to adjust the form and language to their gender, culture, profession, education level, personality, lifestyle, and personal values. Depending on those, you’ll address them formally or casually; in any case, approach them directly, as if you’re trying to engage them in conversation.

3. Be Brief, But Consider Every Word

With so many options to choose from, modern viewers have grown quite impatient. A lot of them will close your video during the first 20 seconds, which is why you’ll need to be brief and effective enough to catch and retain their attention. If endowed with an imaginative mind, feel free to start big and give a backstory to each of your characters and lines. The more information you have about who the protagonist is and what is his mission, the easier it will be for you to focus on the punch line and shorten the story afterwards. Remember to consult the professional video editing team about how each word will be incorporated into the bigger picture – together, you can make even those sporadic ones resonate with viewers.

4. Never Forget About CTA

Since it’s brief, every part of your script needs to be equally effective. Addressing the audience is what captures their attention, but a strong point that you need to make at the end is necessary for the purpose of your story and your marketing message alike. Remember to be unique, since that’s what’s going to differentiate you from the competition and persuade viewers to convert into paying customers. And always, always, close with a clear call to action. If engaged by a story, the audience will need a convenient and fast way to get in touch with the brand, so help them understand what action they need to take in order to do so. Be that an invitation to the website or an appeal to share your video further on, your call to action has to be as organic, concise, and as potent as possible.

5. Hear It Out Loud

Table readingOnce your story is done, don’t rush with the production, but arrange a table reading instead. Words have a nasty habit of sounding differently when red out loud, so never be too hasty to skip this step. If the official table reading is for some reason impossible to stage, ask one of your teammates or friends to read it to you. You’ll be surprised with how many details you’ve overlooked, and hearing them from someone else’s mouth will help you discover how to smooth them out. And, however little time you have, never rush the creative process. Even when finished, let your script breathes a bit before passing it over to directors. Ultimately, that’s the only way of writing something you’ll be proud of, even if its ultimate goal is to increase sales.

About the author
Helen Clark has over 5 years of experience in writing and creating Video films, She has been associated with a host of sites related to Video films and have the expertise to work both on an editorial and advisory level. Presently, she is associated with Video Caddy – a services company

5 Tips and Tricks for Creating a Perfect Business Video

Explainer videos have been shown to produce incredible results for companies in terms of customer satisfaction, as they help inform website visitors about all the important

Explainer videos have been shown to produce incredible results for companies in terms of customer satisfaction, as they help inform website visitors about all the important details related to the company and its products and services in the shortest amount of time possible. Their benefits are clear and well understood, but what actually goes into making the perfect business video?

They have proven to be the most effective when it comes to presenting a company or directly showcasing products and their features. There are various types of videos businesses use, but this straightforward method is becoming more popular each day. Why is that? Simply because customers react well to them and this is what matters most to business organisations.

However, not all explainer videos are great. Apart from requiring great video production, they also need to be approached the right way in order to achieve good results and here is how.

1. Keep it as short as possible

One of the big things about videos in general is that they can be consumed very quickly. It’s easier for a person to watch a 2-minute video than read an article that has 1000 words. This means that there is no need for making long videos that take a lot of people’s time. You need to keep it as short as possible and give out exact information which is easy to understand. People don’t want to “waste” their time watching a promotional video that lasts 10 minutes. Deliver all the important things that need to be said and do it quickly.

2. Learn about your customers’ common pain points and needs

Before you get to the part of presenting your products, services or your business, it is essential that you do your research and find out your target audience’s pain points. You can’t address someone in your video if you don’t have a clue what bothers them. By learning about your target audience, you can get valuable ideas on how to approach people, how to talk to them, how to present issues and most importantly, you will know what product to deliver them. This is how you can get closer to them with your video and bring them closer to what you have to offer as well.

3. Write and edit the script several times

It’s important that you put your whole script on paper or that you save it digitally. This is how you will have a better overview of the whole video and how to deliver the message that you have for your audience in the best way possible. It’s important that you lead them into the story, you are trying to tell. You can’t start talking about your product and its amazing features straight away. The first thing you need to do is to talk about what troubles people and then deliver them with the solution you offer for solving their problems. Go through your whole script a couple of times and make sure that you check for any mistakes that might be semantic, grammatical or misrepresent your business, products or services.

4. Find the right tone and language to use

When you learn about your target audience, you will acquire valuable information such as their interests, age, gender, the work they do etc. All of these things can help you create an average buyer persona and help you use the right tone and language that will be appealing to them. For example, if your target audience consists of a lot of young people, you should have a more casual tone and add a lot of humor in your video. That is, of course, if you are not talking about a serious issue.

5. Keep things concise and to the point

Don’t stuff words into your script for no reason. People don’t want to hear things that are irrelevant to them, nor do they want to admire your video. They want to get answers quickly and learn about the topic as soon as possible. Giving solutions and answers is the point of your whole video, so there’s no need for beating around the bush; be direct and make a strong point.

If you are looking to create your own video that can promote your services and products or represent your business in a good way, make sure that you consider the tips we mentioned today and get a good video producer at video caddy to cover all the technical aspects.

About the author
Helen Clark has over 5 years of experience in writing and creating Video films, She has been associated with a host of sites related to Video films and have the expertise to work both on an editorial and advisory level. Presently, she is associated with Video Caddy – a services company

Read Their Minds: How to Learn What Content Your Audience Wants (Before Creating It)

Creating content that your readers will instantly love is a sure way to grow your audience. But how to learn what content your audience really wants? Read on to find out.

Man using laptopAnyone can create content – it’s creating valuable content that requires a little more effort. In order to do that, you need to be in touch with your audience. If you want to see success right away, you won’t have time for the lengthy rounds of trial and error to determine what your audience enjoys. All you need to do is understand the way your prospective audience thinks, and the rest is a cakewalk.

Read Comments Everywhere

Have you ever considered that other people’s feedback is just as valuable of a learning experience as your own feedback? Look in the comments section on blogs and social media profiles that address a similar niche. It will be easy to see what kind of content isn’t well received by their audience, and what types of posts see the most engagement. Let others make the mistakes, and you can create content that people will appreciate.

Check Out Your Competitors

It’s not always easy to come up with content ideas, so why not investigate what’s working for people who are already one step ahead of you? Their ideas are working for them, better versions of their ideas may work for you. If their readers like short text tutorials, deliver even more. Create comprehensive video tutorials that are more user friendly and feature extensive information. Do it better than your competitor can do it.

Follow Trending Topics

A little keyword research in your niche will show you what topics are beginning to trend. If you locate these topics early and create content that contributes to the conversation, you’ll be beating others to the punch. When people begin to research these topics, your content will rise to the forefront. Your readers will appreciate this content, and they’ll likely find yours first. Getting to trends before they take over will frame you as an industry leader.

Know What They Need

You may have heard before that people are more likely to talk about bad service than they are to talk about good service. This is because good service is expected, and bad service is contrary to the norm. People like to discuss things that bother them, and this is something you can use. This is called finding a pain point. Create content that offers your audience solutions to the issues that keep them up at night. Opening up your comments section that will allow people to share their grief will boost engagement significantly – people love to vent their frustrations.

Answer Their Questions

When people need their questions answered, they typically ask Google those questions. A little keyword research will show you what questions your target audience typically asks. When left to their own devices, people like to research. You may have heard the term “falling down the rabbit hole”, and you’ve probably done it yourself. You have one question that leads to more questions, and you become determined to find all of the answers and gain a deeper understanding. If you can provide them with content that serves as an answer to their questions, you’re simultaneously drawing in readers while establishing yourself as an authority.

When it comes to creating valuable content with as few errors as possible, there’s no such thing as doing too much research. Dig deep and take some notes before you hit the drawing board. You may still need to experiment a little, but you’ll enter the game with an advantage.

About the author
James Pointon is a Customer Consultant and Communications Specialist currently supporting OpenAgent (http://www.openagent.com.au) .Interested in new and unorthodox ways of engaging customers, James is often found sharing his thoughts and ideas online.

4 Areas Where Beginning Bloggers Bumble

You should worry less about what you site looks like and more about the content you need to produce for the site.

Person blogging Blogging has become the thing to do. Everyone you talk to these days has a blog it seems. While for many it’s just a pastime, for others blogging is their dream job. Whether blogging is a fun place to vent or you have hopes of monetizing your site, here are a few lessons to learn from failed bloggers who came before you:

Problems and Solutions

Problem #1: Content is random and unfocused

Solution: Write about what you love. Odds are, what you love is also what you know a lot about. Both are important because you want to be able to keep your site going for a long time. Ask yourself, “Could I write about this forever and not get bored or not find something to say?” If not, keep soul-searching for where your passions truly lie. Your blog will be an integral part of you and even an extension of you. To that end, once you find your passion, do some research about how your blog will be different than others. If there are a thousand blogs about cooking, for example, what is the angle or tone of those blogs and how can yours stand out? What will be your unique voice?

Problem #2: Not enough consistent content

Solution: Liberally apply writing prompts. If you find yourself struggling to get words on paper, a daily dose of writing prompts could be your answer. Writing prompts may not get you immediately to the content you want to write that day for your blog but many writers use them as a warm up exercise, sort of like stretching before going out for a run. As a rule, you should be able to write and publish at least one article or post a week, even if it is short. If you aren’t able to produce that much content, you might lose readers or never gain them from the start.

Problem #3: No one is reading your blog

Solution: Find your audience and join the community. What is the point of a blog if no one is reading it? Do your research and find out where your audience can be found. For example, if you are writing about adoption, are there existing forums, aliases, or discussion groups you can be part of? But don’t just throw your blog onto the audience. Instead, become an integral part of the community. You should be doing this anyway if only for a way to generate new content. Also, leverage your existing social networks via Facebook, Twitter, and others. If you have good content, people will forward your blog. And make sure your new content is easy to find. No one has the time or patience to hunt and peck for your content on your site when there are hundreds of other easier-to-read blogs available. That means you need to choose your blog design wisely.

Problem #4: No one is reading your blog (still)

Solution: Analyze your blog writing skills. When all else is working, now it’s time to finesse your posts. Beginner bloggers don’t regularly analyze their work through the filter of some key questions. Ask yourself:

1. Are blog posts too long? Too short?

2. Do I have high quality and interesting photographs?

3. Do I consistently write good hooks and leads? Are my opening paragraphs catchy?

4. Are my posts too often about me?

5. Do I write catchy headlines?

Taking an online course might help jump-start your success as a blogger and give you the blog writing and structuring skills to help you keep your blog going for a long time.

Final Questions to Ask Before You Start a Blog

1. Can you envision yourself writing regularly and consistently?

2. Do you have enough material and passion to write about a consistent theme or topic?

3. Do you already have some material written and ready to go?

4. If income is part of your blogging goal, do you have a topic that will generate enough loyal readership?

Beginning bloggers often spend all the wrong time in the all the wrong places. For example, it’s easy to get hooked on monkeying with the design and user interface of your blog site itself. But you should worry less about what you site looks like and more about the content you need to produce for the site.

Telling Your Story is the Key to Successful Content

When it comes to successful online marketing, the most important thing is presenting content that tells a story. Whatever your story is, you want to ensure that it’s amazing

Einsteins-guide-to-storytelling-PINTEREST
Click here for the full infographic

When it comes to successful online marketing, the most important thing is presenting content that tells a story. From emotional upswells that stir the heartstrings to incredible adventures in faraway lands, whatever your story is, you want to ensure that it’s a compelling and engaging one.

That being said, crafting compelling, engaging content for your business might seem easier said than done. Thankfully, history, science, and good old common sense have provided us with a variety of tools and tricks for creating amazing stories.

Engage the Brain

When you’re looking to create new content for your website, your first thought should be to the reaction you’re looking to evoke. Intrigue? Excitement? Curiosity? Whatever your emotion of choice, you should be considering the all of the ways in which you can engage your customer’s brain. Confused? Let us clarify.

There’s a particular region of the brain called the insular cortex. This part of the brain processes language, emotion, and the bodily reactions thereof. Thus, when you get goosebumps watching a scary movie or catch your breath reading a particularly suspenseful paragraph, the insular cortex is the reason why. Therefore, when crafting new content, you should be looking to engage this part of the brain to cause goosebumps and gasps of your own. Great storytelling will evoke these bodily reactions and have your customers excited to approach your business.

Lessons From History

Think this understanding of neurological processes is specific to the Internet Age? No way! Aristotle theorized that great storytelling could cause chemical reactions as early as 335 BCE. In his book Poetics, he even coined a term from this phenomenon: catharsis. What is catharsis exactly? Basically, catharsis occurs when a story causes an empathetic outpouring of emotion that cleanses and purifies the mind. Still not sure what that has to do with your business? Let’s look to a Fortune 500 company for an example.

In 2012, Procter and Gamble created a commercial series called “Thank You, Mom” for the Olympics. In a series of television and YouTube spots, the company told emotional stories of Moms using P&G products to help them do everything for their kids. The ads were poignant, compelling,and helped the company earn over $11.3 billion in profits that year. Their success is living proof of the power of catharsis.

Stories Need Structure

Convinced that you need a good story, but still not sure how to go about telling one? Let’s head back to Aristotle for some more on the ground tips. First of all, according to the expert, your story needs a protagonist – or, in layman’s terms, a hero. Your hero should complete some sort of quest, participate in a struggle, and bring said struggle to a resolution. Sound familiar? That’s because this story structure is still ubiquitous today. In fact, almost all blockbuster films follow this format, and as do most of the books that were on your compulsory reading list in school. It may seem like a cliche, but adhering to Aristotelian structure gives you a guideline in which you can craft your content, while also guaranteeing that your customers stay engaged and interested.

Give Them the Why, How, and What

Using lessons from history is important, but so is taking cues from modern business. Thus, we’ve taken inspiration from Simon Sinek – author of Start with Why – and his Golden Circle concept. In his TED Talk on the subject, Sinek explains that good corporate storytellers should focus on clarifying three sections of their business model – the why, the how, and the what. Confused? We’ll make it simple. The why of your business is its vision. Why are you passionate about what you do? What specific need is your product filling? The answer to these questions leads to the how. The how should focus on your values. This is where you can prove to your customers that you care about the wider community and understand your place in the bigger picture. Lastly, you should focus on the what. This is where you clarify the details of your product, and explain how your offerings are better than any others on the market.

Use Mixed Media

So now you know how to tell a story, but the question is, where do you tell it? Any small to medium-sized business should ensure that they’re taking advantage of transmedia storytelling options. What is transmedia storytelling? Transmedia storytelling is when different forms of media – from infographics to videos to photographs – are combined to create a modern marketing aesthetic. Utilizing transmedia storytelling doesn’t change your content — only how you present it.

Transmedia marketing ensures that you draw your customers in — in essence you pull them in instead of pushing them. What does that mean? Well, when it comes to your products, your clients are looking to connect the dots on their own. Rather than spoonfeeding them information, use all the tools at your disposal to create surprising and engaging content that enables them to reach their own conclusions. By empowering customers to reach a decision on their own, you place your trust in them, which leads to loyal, engaged consumers.

Put it All Together

As you can see, good storytelling comes from the imaginative application of valuable knowledge. From transmedia marketing to an engaging expression of your corporate story, a good lede can transform your business’ marketing campaign. So don’t be afraid to be creative with your storytelling! Crafting content that tells a story makes the difference between merely having a good product and having a business that is a success.

[Tweet “Telling Your Story is the Key to Successful Content #infographic”]

About the Author
vjsual – easily said, easily done
vjsual improves the way you communicate. We do so using video solutions. It can for example be in sales, customer care/service, explainer videos or tutorials

How to boost your blog by scheduling more content

Your content marketing will only work if you produce it regularly. You need to schedule and plan, just like professional publishers

Can a service like CoSchedule really improve your business?

Plan to add content every dayWhen you look online for the sites that are doing really well, they fall into two main camps. There are huge brands, such as Google, Facebook, Amazon and ASOS, or media companies like the BBC, the Daily Mail and USA Today.

There is a significant activity that these two distinct kinds of online success stories share. That is the constant addition of online content. These sites are updated every moment of every day; they are living sites, never static and always growing.  From a psychological perspective this is important; we are attracted to new things, and hence websites that are constantly new and updated are the ones we prefer.

Meanwhile, business sites complain they cannot get the traffic, or they cannot get people to stay on their sites for very long. The people making such protests have websites that are rarely updated, often without a blog. Only last week I asked a website owner who was moaning about a lack of visitors when the company’s website last had an update, and I was told “seven years ago”. That is hardly fresh, new and exciting and a real psychological turn-off.

No time for content

The real problem for most businesses is that they are far too busy doing business to update their website constantly. USA Today or the BBC have teams of writers and sites like Facebook do not update their website – they rely on user-generated content to do that. So unless businesses employ a vast team of writers, or they open up their sites for their customers to upload material, they are faced with the difficulty of finding the time to write new, fresh content.

However, it isn’t the problem that many businesses think it is. I used to write for the Sunday Times, and when I did there were around 2,500 members of staff and the newspaper only had a couple of sections. Now it has 14 sections and around 350 staff. So how can they do more, with less?

Editorial planning is fundamental

The problem for something like CNN or the BBC is that they have to produce their bulletins, regardless of whether or not they have the time or the ideas. It is no good the anchor going on air at 10pm and saying “sorry, we haven’t had time to get the news ready – we’ll get back to you later, so here is a cartoon while you wait”. Equally, the Daily Mail or the Washington Post cannot produce a printed newspaper that has blank spaces around the adverts with a notice saying “if we had the time we’d have been able to write something here”.

The fact is, whether it is a broadcaster or newspaper they HAVE TO produce their content on time, and they HAVE TO fill the space. No excuses.

Some days in the world not a lot happens. There is no major news to report. So how can any publisher fill the space on time when nothing is happening?

The answer is detailed scheduling and planning. Without a schedule, a newspaper would never get to print on time, and nothing much would be written.

Here’s how it works. Each morning a team of departmental editors is asked to brief the editor on what they could include in their part of the newspaper. This “Editorial Conference” sorts out the ideas and determines what should or should not be done and also looks at how to fill any gaps.

By the end of the meeting, each editor knows what articles need writing and their deadlines and can plan out how much space to give them. The result is that each journalist is then given a list of jobs to do that day – each with its own word count and deadline. Without that detailed list, they’d sit in the office twiddling their thumbs hoping that some major news story would break – and if it didn’t the paper would not be published.

The reason the newspaper comes out every day at the same time and the reason why CNN or the BBC can produce a full bulletin of news on-time is because of detailed scheduling.

Business blogs need schedules

The reason most businesses fail to add any new content to their website is because they haven’t planned it and scheduled it. They haven’t had an “editorial conference” and given staff detailed instructions on what to write and when.

Typically, a company that wants to add content to its blog will say to staff “if you have any ideas, let us know so we can blog them”. Nothing happens and then another meeting is called a month later when the boss says, “no-one came up with any ideas, we really need your input to make this blog work, so please let us know”. One or two ideas might trickle in, but then enthusiasm fades and the blog dies.

Compare this with the boss who divides the blog up into five topic areas, one for every day of the week. Then one member of staff is asked to be responsible for ideas for that topic. Now, five people (editors if you want to call them that) have a more focused mind. Instead of being asked for ideas in a general way, they can look for something more specific.

These people are then called to an editorial meeting where everyone pitches in with their ideas. At the end of that meeting, a timetable is produced for when each blog post is going to be written. The staff go away with a detailed plan of who is going to do what and by when. No longer is the business blog empty; instead it now has a regular supply of fresh material.

How can you schedule?

If you have worked in an editorial environment, producing a content schedule is second-nature; it is something you do every day. But if you have never produced an editorial schedule, especially for a team of people, you can find it confusing.

Enter CoSchedule.

This system provides you with a comprehensive method of editorial scheduling for a single blogger or an entire team. Plus it has the added, and important, benefit of being able to schedule associated social media posts, thereby helping to improve awareness of each post and traffic to the site.

What does CoSchedule do?

CoSchedule provides you with the ability to:

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  • Plan and schedule new content
  • Assign planned content to specific writers
  • Promote each item of content in social media
  • Schedule future social media activity for each piece of content
  • Analyse your content so you can see which kinds of posts perform best
  • Integrate the system within WordPress

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Here’s how CoSchedule works in WordPress – or you can log into the web app to get the same capabilities.

Using CoSchedule is a breeze

You can get to grips with CoSchedule much more easily than trying to set up a team-based spreadsheet.  You could start by using my free Blog Planning Tool. This will help you quickly set up an entire month of keyword-rich blog post ideas. You can then use those ideas to set up your schedule of posts within CoSchedule and allocate them to specific dates and writers.

CoSchedule Calendar

You can reschedule items easily using simple “drag and drop” or you can click on each item to open up a comprehensive window that allows you to change the author, change publication dates and times and a host of other useful planning and scheduling options.

Social media scheduling

One of the major benefits of CoSchedule is its combined ability to schedule social media activity. Many business blogs fail to capitalise on blog promotion, thereby not gaining as many visitors as possible. With CoSchedule, you can produce a blog post and schedule in a wide range of social media activity at the same time. You can “set and forget” future Tweets, Facebook updates and so on. In a recent “Twitter Chat” (#CoChat) on blog promotion, people revealed that regular scheduling of social media postings was a significant way of increasing web traffic.

In testing out the benefits of CoSchedule in dong this I set up some scheduled social media posts for an article I wrote a year ago. Here you can see the effect they had on social media,:

CoSchedule Sharing

There were a total of 44 additional shares on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ in the space of 24 hours. Plus these extra social networking posts, automated through CoSchedule brought in an additional 4% of Internet traffic to my website – a real boost in visitor numbers. Remember, this was for an old piece of content. By setting up scheduled social media activity for each blog post as it is produced, CoSchedule will help you gain significant additional traffic. You could enter a task into the CoSchedule diary for team members to go back through old content and add in further social media postings. This will dramatically increase your traffic for existing content. You will be able to see the benefit of this in the “Top Posts” analysis.

CoSchedule Top Posts

How to get the most out of CoSchedule

CoSchedule is an excellent system that has real benefits. It can help ensure that a business that was previous struggling to come up with fresh content can use editorial planning – just like those popular media websites – to build a blog successfully and easily. CoSchedule also means you can manage teams of writers if you have them, assigning tasks and deadlines. You can even set up “events” such as the date and time of each “editorial conference”.

I have only been using CoSchedule for a short amount of time, I admit. But in using it I have found that the best thing for me is to set up my calendar of proposed blog posts in advance. They are automatically saved as drafts and – thanks to CoSchedule’s connect to Google Calendar – added simultaneously to my main diary so I cannot forget them…!

Then when I complete each blog post, I set up a series of scheduled social media posts, ensuring that my articles are noticed and promoted long into the future.

It is a simple three-step system:

[ordered_list style=”decimal”]

  1. Set up the schedule of posts
  2. Write the post when you see the deadline in your diary
  3. Set up promotions of the post when you have written it

[/ordered_list]

Doing that without CoSchedule is complex. You need a spreadsheet, then you have to enter the results of that in your diary and then you need to set up social media activity in a social media management tool. That is complex and time-consuming and is part of the reason businesses fail to set up editorial planning, weakening their website as a result.

With CoSchedule, that complex process is replaced with one seamless system.

Plus, CoSchedule offers a couple of free added benefits. One is the “headline analyzer” enabling you to write attention grabbing headlines for each of your posts. The other is a free plug-in for WordPress that enables you to get people to Tweet your articles:

[Tweet “Great review of @CoSchedule from Internet Psychologist @grahamjones”]

Oh and one other thing – CoSchedule works across multiple blogs. If you have more than one blog, no problem, CoSchedule can manage them all from one place, making it even more of an excellent management tool.

If you are not using CoSchedule, you are seriously limiting your blog’s potential.

CoSchedule: The Editorial Calendar For WordPress

How to Increase User Engagement on your Blog

The post talks all about how to increase the user engagement on your blog – attract more visitors and retain them.

By Jessica Davis

We have all heard of obscure bloggers who attained instant fame after their blogs went viral. But those days are gone and now there are so many blogs that even the best writers and bloggers are finding it hard to get noticed. Similarly, even readers don’t know where to go as they are being deluged with information with so many blogs.

You also need to be able to keep users on your website so that they can discover more. This also keeps the bounce rate low because Google search does not appreciate high bounce rates. High user engagement also means that more readers will respond to the ads on your blog, which means more ad revenues for you. This is essential if you are depending on your blog for an income. Here are some ways that you can increase user engagement on your blog without having to beg for it.

Use widgets

With the help of widgets, you can encourage readers to read other posts on your blog and can also make it easier for them to find relevant content on your blog. Most blogging platforms provide these widgets or you can install them for free from various websites. These widgets will also help increase the page-views per person on your blog. Here are some widgets you must install on your blog:

Recent posts – This widget lets readers know about the latest posts that you have published.

Related posts – There will be times when you write about similar topics or you have divided one long article into many smaller posts. Help readers find these related posts with this widget.

Popular posts – This widget lets users know which blog posts have got the most visitors or comments.

You should also add social media widgets for Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest on your website so that users can share content easily.

Add eye-catching images

Images are always more attractive than a long article. A beautiful image will instantly capture the interest of a casual visitor and will encourage that person to read the blog post that the image is attached to. A blog post with no image also looks boring and uninviting. Make sure that the image loads easily and that thumbnails of the image appear without ruining the quality of the image.

Don’t get too carried away by trying to insert many images in one blog post as this will slow down the load time.

Place a subscription form

Calls-to-action are always helpful because readers want to know what to do next. This is why you need to put a subscription form at the bottom of every blog post so that users can choose to receive updates from you via email if they like your content. Often, readers happen upon a blog post that they really like and consequently, they may share it on various social media pages and make a mental note to return to the blog, but this happens very rarely. Even if they bookmark your blog, there is a high chance that they will forget about it. Have a gentle call to action at the bottom of blog posts asking readers to subscribe if they want more content from your blog and would like to be updated via email.

If readers like your blog posts, they will want to come back – so make it easier for them by sending them email updates. This is also an excellent way to get back readers to your blog the moment a new post is published. With a subscription form, you will also be able to expend your email lists in an organic manner.

About the author
Jessica Davis is a Content Marketing expert at Godot Media, a leading content services company. She works with other web content writers to create effective content for various businesses and individuals. She also writes on topics related to social media and technology.